Andy Hall of the Des Moines, Iowa radio station Lazer 103.3 conducted an interview with METALLICA frontman James Hetfield before the band’s June 9 concert in Newton, Iowa. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On reading online comments from METALLICA fans:

James: “I’ve got tons of friends that are either musicians or artists or someone who are creative and putting stuff out there. I just tell ’em, ‘Don’t read the comments. I mean, just don’t. Unless you’re feeling a little more secure in yourself these days.’ ‘Cause most of us artists are pretty fragile, insecure people, and we get up there and the music makes us feel strong and good. But other times when people… you know, someone says something about the lyrics, and it’s just, like, ‘Ouch! That went right in my heart, dude!’ So I tell you, when you read that stuff, you can’t believe it — you just can’t. Most people… It’s really easy just to hit ‘send’ [on your phone or computer] — I know that. But we also do get a lot of great comments out there that kind of work themselves out. It’s like throwing a couple of pitbulls in a room — they work it out. You don’t have to… Especially on the METALLICA site, they have people… it goes back and forth. And as long as there’s passion, that’s all that matters, really.”

On METALLICA constantly challenging itself:

James: “I don’t know what’s next for us, and that’s also the beauty. Whatever’s gonna come our way, something will show up on the radar that’s a challenge, or we’ll see something and that’ll inspire something that we wanna try, but take it to the next level. I think right now what we’re really enjoying is playing all the stuff, especially the new stuff. And yes, we’ll get to ‘Spit Out The Bone’ at some point. But enjoying what we’re doing to another level. It’s really hard to explain, but for me, it’s another level now. I am so attached to the crowd when I’m playing, there’s so much energy going back and forth that… I didn’t feel that before, and now I’m feeling it even more, and it’s getting better and better. So it is just so much fun to go out there and play and watch new new, young faces, old faces… I’ve got plenty of friends that say, ‘My dad’s coming, and he’s gonna be the oldest guy there.’ It’s, like, ‘How old is he?’ ‘He’s 65.’ It’s, like, ‘Nah. Sorry, buddy. That’s not even close, all right? We’ve got eighty-something-year-olds here.’ So all are welcome and we’re loving what we’re doing.”

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame band is touring in support of its tenth studio album, “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct”, which features the current single “Now That We’re Dead”.

The North American leg of METALLICA‘s “WorldWired” trek will hit stadiums in seventeen more cities before ending in mid-August.

The next stop on the tour is Dallas, Texas on June 16.

Support on the quartet’s first North American trek since 2009 is coming mainly from AVENGED SEVENFOLD and VOLBEAT, with GOJIRA taking over for the latter group for the last six shows.